Not only can an infestation of fire ants be a frustrating pest to eliminate, but they can also be a danger to your pets and family. Here are our tips and tricks to help get rid of the problem.
Identify Areas of Infestation
Unlike most ants, fire ants build mounds with no openings in the center. Instead, the worker ants travel through underground tunnels from the mound to the outside. Fire ants will build their nests most often in loose soil or in rotting logs and tree stumps. During colder months, their nests can be found inside of homes near water heaters and underneath bathtubs. Once these mounds are identified, make sure to keep your children and pets away from the infestation site to avoid being stung or attacked. If the ants are entering your home, identify and promptly seal the source of entry. With the site of the mound pinpointed, you can now choose your method of eradication.
While there are effective, fast-working chemical treatments to kill fire ants, there are safer natural alternatives. Pour two to three gallons of boiling water onto the mound to kill the ants, but also note that this will kill the surrounding vegetation that the boiling water comes in contact with. The colony can also be killed by digging up the mounds and then drowning the ants with water, but the close interaction with the mound increases your risk of being attacked. You can also reach for a botanical insecticide created from plant-based ingredients before harsher chemical insecticides. These natural methods are not as strong as chemical treatments, but you will still see a decrease in fire ant populations.
Mound drenches, and baits can successfully eliminate fire ants. Fire ant bait comes in granular forms and is manually dispersed. It should not be applied on overly hot, rainy days, and you should monitor the activity around the mound before scattering the granules. This baiting process of elimination can take up to three weeks to fully remove ants, granted rain and moisture don’t degrade the baits.
Mound drenching is also an effective option for killing fire ants, though it comes with a few more risks. Mound drenching consists of making a hole through the top of the fire ant mound and pouring a granular or liquid insecticide solution into the hole. The treatment will poison and eliminate the colony within one day. However, you must work closely with the mound and have a heightened risk of coming in contact with the ants, as well as the possibility of having overflow from the insecticide to surround plants and grass.
Arrow Termite and Pest Control can help to keep fire ant infestations at bay. Call us today to set up your Free Consultation!